Week 11 Fantasy Football Drop List: Trouble in Denver

The time has come to give up on these big name stars.

As the fantasy football regular season heads into the final few weeks, the waiver wire is getting markedly weak. With fewer and fewer options available to pick up, it gets more difficult deciding on who to keep and who cut ties with.

It’s quite possible the players filling your roster are better than the options available. It still never hurts to take a look at what’s out there and rid your team of the options with limited fantasy relevance. With just one more week of byes left, owners can worry less about depth and aim for shoring up a solid starting roster with a bench filled with handcuff running backs or carefully planned options based on upcoming schedules.

With 10 weeks down, this week’s list is a mix of big names. Some have been previously mentioned and a couple new names that are inexplicably owned in many leagues.

For the players listed for the second time, their fantasy situations haven’t gotten any better, yet owners are still clinging to them likely because of past results or the draft investment spent on them. Many are still owned based on name value alone and not on fantasy production through 10 weeks.

Peyton Manning, Quarterback, Denver Broncos

Yahoo Ownership: 92%
ESPN Ownership: 94%

He's been mentioned in this column weeks ago, and if Peyton Manning’s huge drop off in production through 10 weeks didn’t do the trick, hopefully his negative fantasy score and subsequent benching Sunday for Brock Osweiler will finally convince owners it’s time to sever ties with the hall of fame quarterback. Now out for Week 11, owners should press the drop button and clear up a roster spot.

Manning may still be the starter for the Broncos when he returns, but he shouldn’t be started, let alone owned, on any fantasy team. It’s understandable how difficult it can be for owners to drop a name like Manning, but he hasn’t been Manning this season.

He’s thrown 17 interceptions through 9 games, which ties for the most interceptions he’s thrown in an entire season since 2002. Also, for the first time since his rookie year of 1998, Manning is completing fewer than 60% of his passes. He’s currently on pace to throw for fewer than 4,000 yards for just the third time in his career, and pass for just 18 touchdowns, which would be the fewest of his career.

Manning’s Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per attempt is -0.023, ranking him 28 out of 30 quarterbacks with at least 200 drop backs on the season. That puts him ahead of only Nick Foles and Colin Kaepernick, who have both been benched in recent weeks. Not the usual company Manning keeps, but this is where his production places him this season.

He’s one of the best of all time and carried many fantasy teams in the past, but this season he’s done nothing but hurt your chances of winning. It’s time to wave the white flag if you’re still holding out hope.

C.J. Anderson, Running Back, Denver Broncos

Yahoo Ownership: 87%
ESPN Ownership: 88%

Finally looking healthy after the bye, C.J. Anderson had his best game of the season in Week 8 rushing for over 100 yards and touchdown for the first time this season. Unfortunately for him and fantasy owners, that success was short lived.

In a blowout loss to the Chiefs, it was clear Anderson is behind Ronnie Hillman on the depth chart. Hillman out touched Anderson 13 to 2 on Sunday. Anderson has received just nine carries over the last two weeks.

Anderson was the 11th player off draft boards based on ESPN’s Live Draft Results and is in the running for biggest draft bust. Averaging just 36 rushing yards per game and scoring just one touchdown on the season, he has been anything but a first round pick.

Out of 31 running backs with 90 carries or more this season, Anderson ranks last with a Rushing NEP per carry of -0.17.

It can be difficult for owners to drop a player they spend a high draft pick on, but outside of one week in which Hillman was banged up, he has been unusable for fantasy owners.

With the offensive line still providing little running room and major quarterback questions, there is little future value for Anderson in the season’s remaining weeks. There aren’t many running back options available, but this first round bust can be safely sent packing.

C.J. Spiller, Running Back, New Orleans Saints

Yahoo Ownership: 61%
ESPN Ownership: 65%

C.J. Spiller has been as quiet as possible for a player with his talent since signing with New Orleans. Outside of an 80-yard, game-winning touchdown in overtime against the Cowboys in Week 4, Spiller has been a complete non-factor.

Expected to see an increased role with Khiry Robinson out for the season, Spiller saw fewer touches than the immortal Tim Hightower Sunday.

Spiller has received 10 touches just twice this season and gone over 100 total yards just once. He hasn’t fulfilled the uber-Darren Sproles role that so many envisioned.

Out of his 318 total yards on the season, 25% of those yards came on that one play in overtime. His highest yardage total, outside of Week 4, is just 48 yards.

Spiller’s Rushing NEP per carry of -0.13 and Reception NEP per target of 0.44 are both on par with previous seasons. The difference is the amount of touches Spiller has received this year.

It seems every week we hear head coach Sean Payton claiming Spiller will be more involved, but through 10 weeks that has yet to happen.

It’s time to drop Spiller for almost any player with a pulse that is available, as he is the epitome of dead roster weight.

Marques Colston, Wide Receiver, New Orleans Saints

Yahoo Ownership: 47% 
ESPN Ownership: 37%

Another player with an ownership percentage way too high for his production, Marques Colston should be owned in roughly zero percent of leagues. Colston is another big name fantasy owners are clinging to based on seasons past.

Colston has just two games this season with more than 50 receiving yards. A former red zone threat with eight touchdowns or more five times in his career, Colston has found the end zone just once all season.

At 32 years old, Colston appears to be slowing down. He is on pace to finish with fewer than 700 receiving yards for the first time in his career. The Saints offense has produced yards and points since quarterback Drew Brees' return from injury, but Colston has failed to make an impact.

Out of 71 players with at least 48 targets on the season, Colston’s Reception NEP per target ranks 35th at 0.68. Ranking in the middle of the pack isn’t the problem for Colston, it’s that he is only the 71st most targeted player.

Unless fantasy owners like getting three points or fewer from a starting position, it’s time to stop clinging to an aging Colston.

Julius Thomas, Tight End, Jacksonville Jaguars

Yahoo Ownership: 67%
ESPN Ownership: 60%

Going from the Denver Broncos to the Jacksonville Jaguars, Julius Thomas’ numbers were expected to take a hit. Based on how each team’s quarterback is playing, Thomas is likely in a better situation in Jacksonville than had he not switched teams in the offseason.

Thomas has been virtually invisible. He’s battled injuries all season, playing in just five of the team’s nine games. In the games he has played, Thomas has provided zero boost to the offense. He has just one game with more than 3 catches and has gone for more than 25 yards just once.

He isn’t getting many looks in the passing game, and he hasn’t been the red zone threat he was in Denver. Thomas ranks 33rd in average points per game in standard scoring leagues at the tight end position.

Out of 28 tight ends with at least 30 targets on the season, Thomas ranks second to last with a Reception NEP per target of 0.35.

Thomas’ production on the field has yielded next to nothing for his new team. Owners still holding out hope for top-10 tight end return should seek solace elsewhere because it isn’t coming from Thomas this season.